I’m one of those assholes who responds to an email seven months later with, “SO sorry for the late reply!” And this post is my blog version of that email. Sometime last fall, Tom’s Town, a new-ish Kansas City distillery with an old soul, gave me a bottle of their McElroy’s Corruption Gin to play around with. While I may still “play,” I was excited to finally bust it out this week for my all-time favorite martini. It’s something I used to make with regularity, but everything in the fall and winter was so fucking festive, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to make a damn good drink just for the sake of making a damn good drink. But when I want a damn good drink that’s not whiskey, I always turn to a Gibson martini on the rocks.
Traditionally, a Gibson is made with gin and dry vermouth, and is stirred, not shaken. In fact, the only thing that really differentiates a Gibson from the original is that it’s garnished with a cocktail onion instead of a lemon twist. It’s also usually served in a coupe or cocktail glass. I do love coupes, but stemmed martini glasses are the Devil’s spawn and I really like drinks that go “clink!” So, I take this Gibson martini on the rocks — rather, one big rock. And because I give zero fucks about rules, it also gets a few aggressive dashes of orange bitters. To really throw you off, it calls for equal parts gin and vermouth, and I usually end up eating about nine to 13 onions per drink consumed.
While I call this “my” all-time favorite martini recipe, it’s not really my recipe. My friend Beau Williams of Julep Cocktail Club introduced me to this method for making a gin martini, and I haven’t looked back since. In fact, I probably (no, I know) I annoy bartenders when I’m like, “I’ll have a Gibson, but on the rocks, half gin, half vermouth, lots of orange bitters, and all the cocktail onions.”
If you didn’t already know, vermouth-soaked cocktail onions are God’s greatest gift to drinks and I am to cocktail onions what Ron Swanson is to protein. Just give me all the cocktail onions you have. Wait. I’m worried what you just heard was give me a lot of cocktail onions. What I said was, ‘Give me all the cocktail onions you have.’ Half the time, bars don’t even have them and then I’m forced to yell a stream of obscenities while overturning tables (joking; that’s when I order a whiskey soda).
Hell, I know I’ve even annoyed bartenders at Beau’s bar with my order. But whatever, I’m a woman who knows what I want.
50/50 Gibson Martini
½ ounces gin
½ ounces dry vermouth
3 to 4 dashes orange bitters
3 to 75 cocktail onions
Add the gin, vermouth, and bitters to an old-fashioned glass. Stir well, add one large ice cube (or a small handful of ice), stir a little more, then garnish with as many fucking vermouth-soaked cocktail onions as you can fit on a pick. Enjoy.
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